By Ahmad Shihadah
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
SA’NA, Yemen – Six Somali pirates, captured by Yemeni forces in April last year, were sentenced to death by a Yemen court on Tuesday. Six others were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and together must pay $2 million compensation for hijacking an oil tanker.
Part of Tuesday’s ruling by a criminal court requires the convicted pirates to pay the company that owns the hijacked vessel, Masafi Aden, a sum of 2 million Yemen riyals ($9,200).
The Defense Ministry’s online newspaper said the court would require Masafi Aden to pay a certain portion of the reparations to the Yemeni victims’ families.
On April 26, 2009, they hijacked the Yemeni ship Qana, owned by Adan Refinery Company, near the coast of Yemen. Yemeni forces recaptured the ship and took 12 pirates prisoner, but two crew members were killed in the struggle.
Piracy is a major problem off the coast of Somalia, where gangs of pirates have hijacked dozens of ships in the past few years. International naval patrols have largely not been able to stop the attacks.
Furthermore, many captured pirates have been released because no country would prosecute them. Kenya has conducted some pirate trials but recently said its justice system is overburdened.
For more information, please see:
The Epoch Times – Six Somali Pirates Sentenced To Death In Yemen – 19 May 2010
VOA News – Yemen Court Sentences Somali Pirates To Death – 18 May 2010
Reuters – Yemen Court Sentences Six Somali Pirates To Death – 18 May 2010